Hike Cutthroat Pass from Rainy Pass Trailhead

Rate this Adventure Rainy Pass Trailhead

Breathtaking views along a the Pacific Crest Trail! 

This hike begins at the parking area across from the Rainy Pass Trail Head. It is on the north side of Route 20. There is a larger parking area a little further down Route 20. The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is 2600 miles long and links the borders of Canada and Mexico as it travels through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. This hike is 5 miles of the PCT up to Cutthroat Pass and back to the trail head. The first 2.3 miles of this hike is through beautiful thick forest. The hike also slows down 1 mile in with many recent (summer 2016) downed trees blown over by a micro burst storm. Easily climbed over or under. Hopefully the park service will have these cleared out soon.

After 2.3 miles, the forest recedes and the landscape opens up for amazing views all around. The trail climbs steadily but rather easy. After 4 miles you will encounter several switchbacks that make the grade easier. I encountered snow on the trail at this point (mid-July) but it was well packed and easy to walked over.

The final mile was one of the best hiking experiences I've had. The open landscape with clear blue sky and rugged peaks were breathtaking. Finally you arrive at the pass, an altitude of 6800 feet. Here you can look down on Cutthroat Lake and across to the Methow Valley. You can continue along the PCT for a bit more (I wish now that I did) or return the way you came after a rest. On the way down you have great views of Cutthroat Peak on the right.

This was the easiest and most enjoyable 10 mile hikes I've ever completed. It took me a little over 4 hours much of which was spent taking photos. 

Pack List

  • Insect repellent
  • trekking poles 
  • sturdy hiking boots
  • sun protection 
  • Water/food
Show More
RT Distance 10 Miles
Elevation Gain 2000 Feet
Activities Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Scenic

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Snowshoe Heather Maple Loop Pass

If you have a whole day, then this trip is for you. Being three hours from Seattle has its perks. You get the views without the crowds.

10 Saves

Summit Black Peak

Starting at the Heather-Maple Pass Loop Trailhead, jump onto the trail that will take you counter-clockwise along the loop. After about 1.

114 Saves

Hike Heather-Maple Pass Loop

Note to any hikers taking on this trail, this is a non-repeating trail meaning it goes in a big loop. The trailhead has 2 trail points of entrance.

350 Saves